The Peculiar Kind is a web series that candidly explores the lives and experiences of queer women of color with eye-opening and unscripted conversations.
TPK is intent on producing creative, organic, informative pieces that highlight the experience of queer women of color, so naturally, their series has grabbed our attention, including nearly 1000 subscribers on YouTube, since their launch in January.
Given the plethora of web series produced for and by queer women of color these days — Between Women, Come Take a Walk with Me, Yo! LGBT Raps, to name a few — it’s becoming much harder to stand out. One of the unique elements of the TPK web series, however, is that the voices in each episode are curated from a live forum, lending a rare flavor of authenticity, and, at times, intimacy, to the perspectives shared.
Recently, editorial board member, Idalia — a queer, Puertominican (half Puerto Rican, half Dominican) femme — watched an episode for the first time — the most recent episode, “Where I’m From“, which curated queer women and gender non-conforming people of color perspectives on culture, ethnicity, and origin. Enjoy her time-stamped highlights and post-watch reflection.
Highlights by Time Stamp
- (During Episode Intro) I love my people. They haven’t even started talking and I’m in love with the series already for the diversity of the cast; various gender presentations, racial backgrounds, all their “looks”… so beautiful, brown, and queer, wearing the hell out of our own skins.
- 2:16 Having people express excitement about going back home (but not admitting to avoiding family when you get there because of who you are) is sad, but a reality in many of our lives. Poignant.
- During cast introductions, I squealed at seeing another LATINA FEMME! (Damn, she’s cute). Grateful that the show is intentionally including different ethnicities within the POC (not just Black), including a Hatian Ashkenazi Jew! Where can I meet these people?! I want them to be my friends!
- 3:40 “In India there were no laws against homosexuality until the British invaded.” Stuff like this needs to become common knowledge. Proud to see QWOC using media to reclaim and share our histories and various socio-political contexts, especially since it’s so easy for folks in western countries to blame and criticize other countries for “being backwards” when the colonialism they used to oppress other nations is responsible for the dogma that came with religion and sodomy laws… Okay. *stopping myself before my anger escalates*
- More discussion of greater acceptance in indigenous communities, this time Mexico vs. the North (closer to US influence… coincidence?) Ancient texts in this person’s country include homosexuality and it was an accepted part of the culture prior to colonization.
- 7:35 At this point, I’m just really wishing I was part of the space in which this conversation took place. But TPK has brought me close enough. The conversation about culture and origin in queer spaces is familiar, and yet fresh, affirming.
- 8:20 – On plaid. Ha! The US stereotype of what it means to be queer has most definitely informed how our families and countries react to us. As a femme, I’m seen by straight men as “not really being gay.” My dad (an old school Dominican) once told me — before I came out to him — that lesbians are just ugly women who couldn’t get men, so they become bitter and steal “real women” away. ie: There is no way a beautiful feminine woman can be gay. And apparently, beautiful women don’t wear plaid. o_O
- 9:19 A familiar feeling many of us share; not wanting to tell family members in order to avoid dealing with the reactions; even if there’s potential to be good, the fear of being let down keeps us silent.
- 10:21 THIS! On privilege and gay rights. The idea that homosexuality is a bourgeois concept is ridiculous. If you don’t watch the entire episode, at least watch this section.
- 11:30 The story of my life as a child from an immigrant family. Hard to be first generation. “Your parents came here for a very specific reason.” They sacrificed for you so there are expectations that you’ll go along with their plans for you (and stomach their homophobia).
I’m in tears and am only just sorting through the range of emotions this video evoked in me. I started off giddy and excited to just see such beautiful queer, brown faces on the screen staring back at me. LIke a kid in a candy store, I felt joy, relief and an immediate connection. I needed this. I needed to hear these people and see them and know I am not alone. Um…would it be weird to say they are also all fly?
As they started speaking, I settled into the conversation and *felt* on a deep level all that they were saying. I was equally pissed, excited, and just SO glad that someone was saying all of this. I’m not crazy. The ambivalence that is a part of being in my own skin is a shared experience. That homophobia is a western construct now used as another unit of measure “proving” to the West that our people are backward.
Despite this, the empathy born of shared experiences, it is without self pity. We acknowledge the very real dangers and fears we face in our respective cultures because of who we are -the struggles with family, with being an immigrant – while in the same vein celebrating our strength and our resilience, our cultures our family, our people. We celebrate the incredible outpouring of love, and our many success stories. We live, we thrive and we laugh.
Sigh, thank you ” ThePeculiar Kind”. And when can we see the next episode?
Watch TPK Episode 3 Below
For more information about The Peculiar Kind, visit their website at www.thepeculiarkind.com. Make sure that you check out the The Peculiar Kind here, and subscribe to their channel on youtube to stay on the alert for more episodes!
I really enjoyed this read. On a purely structural, grammatical, and syntactical basis- this piece is a symphony. I don’t know how you did it but there are rises and falls..booms and bangs. SO GOOD.
And then there is the context. My favorite: #4. 3:40. History at it’s finest. There is so much that gets swept under the rug but we still feel it’s effects to this day. Before we start patronizing countries for their laws and reactions towards LGBTQ, where did it originate?
gah, overall really enjoyed this piece. Mad Kudos.
Even though i had already watched the video, i did enjoy it with your
time stamp commentary. This topic is always one that makes me emotional (
Like full spectrum of emotions, type of emotional). I am someone who is
borderline obsessed with my own culture and where i’m from Eritrea
(east Africa). That being said its a place i always go to visit and
growing up i always knew no matter what path i followed in life going
“back home” to work, to live was always my long term goal. What didn’t
fit into that equation was the fact that im gay and also the fact that im openly gay and live a gay lifestyle meaning i am in a long term
committed relationship with another woman whom i openly love. It has
already proven to be a major hurdle with in my family and with in my
community and also with the diasporic community at large. i have a small
group of people who share my place of origin and culture who are accepting
the rest seem to exist solely for the reason of telling me the kind of
hell bound sinner i am. The fact that i have decided to be open has
already been a source of physical and emotional pain in my life both
here in the US and Eritrea. I have had the worst of things said to me ,
been dismissed as an Eritrean all together, Its been decided for me who I’m allowed and not allowed to be Family with, i have even been assaulted
and harassed. As the professional opportunities for me in Eritrea
become more tangible the idea of subjecting myself to the type of
painful closeted life i would have to lead is a fear so great it is
almost enough to dismiss my childhood dreams of enjoying my adult life in